Athletes Sign Letters of Intent at Spring Signing Day

At Friday’s Spring Signing Day, Athletic Director Jason Kuffel described the field of student athletes as “small but mighty.

Indeed, only two seniors declared their intent to play at the next level: Jillian Bollard committed to playing softball at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, while Jack Dahlin committed to playing Division II hockey at Xavier University in Cincinnati. 

Their coaches, teammates and families, as well as their teachers and administrators filled the Academic Commons for the chance to cheer on these standout seniors.

“We want to celebrate these athletes,” Mr. Kuffel said. “All their hard work and dedication to their sport has led them to play at the collegiate level.”

Jillian and Jack are the latest Lions to make commitments to play in college. Their announcements came after five students declared their intent in the fall and five more in February. They included:

  • Mia Bergstrom, basketball at Saint Louis University
  • Taylor Bracket, soccer at Case Western Reserve University
  • Cristobal Carranza, soccer at Earlham College
  • Kacper Gwizdz, lacrosse at Lewis University
  • Bryan Hatch, baseball at Valparaiso University
  • Jeffery Beckert, baseball at Concordia University Chicago
  • Evan Collins, swimming at St. Norbert’s College
  • Luca Cutinello, football at Hillsdale College
  • Mitch Humphrey, basketball at Colby College
  • Vitalii Strutynskyi, hockey at Purdue Northwest University 

Softball Coach John Scotillo says Jillian has been an offensive force for all four years, including this season, which he describes as her most productive. She is hitting .333 with 26 hits, 4 home runs and 27 RBIs.

Defensively, Jillian plays catcher, which Coach Scotillo describes as having another coach on the field. He lets her call pitches and she has an uncanny sense of when to go out to the mound to calm down her pitcher.

“She has what we coaches call ‘quick pop time.’ She has a strong arm and has thrown out a number of runners,” Coach Scotillo says. “But she also has saved a number of runs in her ability to block pitches in the dirt.” 

Jillian hopes to get some playing time at Weslyan. She will be one of three catchers on the team, but she’s hoping to move up the ranks.

“The softball program is a small, tight-knit community,” she says of the Titans. “The coaches were very welcoming. It just felt like home and a place where I could see myself for the next four years.”

Jack, too, described the Xavier community as small and welcoming, with a relatively small campus and good competition in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

He plays forward for the Lions and was captain of the team last year. In February, he was voted Athlete of the Month by his peers, for his leadership and character, especially during the team’s run through the playoffs.

In announcing his commitment to play at Xavier, Jack said the decision came down to this: “I’ve been in Catholic schools since elementary school. Xavier is a small, Catholic institution, and I felt like I could fit in.”
Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.